Mexborough & Swinton Times, January 10th 1925
From Stainforth to Denaby
Wife’s Walk To Escape Husband.
Man’s Suggested Compact.
‘For Children’s Sake.’
The adjourned case in which Clara Humphries summoned her husband John, a Denaby miner, for desertion, was heard at Doncaster, on Tuesday, Mr. Crawford being for the wife, and Mr. Frank Allen for the husband.
The adjournment had been made in the hope that the husband would find rooms in which to house his wife and family, in order that they may patch up their differences. The husband alleged that he found two rooms in Barnburgh Street, Denaby, but she declared that these were a myth, because the houses in that street had no sitting room, and these could not possibly be two rooms to let.
She was 23 years old, and had three children, twins aged 15 weeks, and another child aged 20 months. About six weeks after their marriage her husband left her for three days. They got together again, and later went to Stainforth.
There he was always thrashing her and knocking her about, and she left him, walking to Denaby. She was at that time approaching child birth, with her first baby. He got in touch with her again, gave a promise to treat her better, and she returned to Stainforth.
When the child was 14 days old he threw a pot of hot tea over her and the child. Three weeks later he left her again and took the child with him. She went to her mother, but she could not rest away from the child and went back again, and again he promised to do better. That was in May, 1923.
His cruelty continued, and he was not working more than two or three shifts per week. In March 1924, they returned to Denaby and were fairly comfortable until September when the twins were born. When she was in bed he trashed the other child, and when she remonstrated with him he threatened her.
After the birth of the twins he was worse and she ‘couldn’t do anything right for him.’ On December 12th she went shopping with her mother at Mexborough, and on their return he met them, at the tram terminus assaulted her, and did not return home, so she left and went to her mother’s.
Recently he had suggested to her that ‘for the sake of the children they should live together as man and wife in name only.’ She refused the compact. She admitted that before her marriage she had an illegitimate child, but he knew all about this and had often nursed the child, but it had ‘haunted her’ throughout her married life. She did not wish to go back to him because she was afraid of him.
The husband alleged that he had been obliged to move from place to place because she would not settle, that she had gone on drinking expeditions with her mother, and that she was drunk on December 12th, and the true version of that incident was that he tried to lead her home but she refused to go with him, and that when he got home in the early hours of the morning he found she had cleared out with the children and all their possessions.
He did not earn more than 50s. a week, as he was only a filler, and this would not support them all if they were separated. The man refused a separation order, but made a maintenance order of 25s. per week, hoping that the couple would get together again.